Hi and welcome to my Virtual Pipe Organ site! Here I’ll share my experience about setting up a Virtual Pipe Organ mainly on the Linux platform. The samplesets I’ve created for GrandOrgue can also be found and freely downloaded here, as well as documents of my experience from creating the samplesets.
Even though I have a small single manual tracker organ at home I still find many uses for a virtual pipe organ. As a professional organist I sometimes want to be able to practice at home on two manuals and an independant pedal. Enter the Virtual Pipe Organ!
There’s a very good free (gnu/gpl) alternative named GrandOrgue (available both for Windows, Linux and even OS X) that I’m using and highly recommend for anyone interested in setting up a virtual pipe organ at home.
There are some other alternatives like for instance jOrgan and Genpo that both mainly use soundfont technology, but the best option is definitely (in my opinion) to get GrandOrgue. The new features that continually flow into the development trunk really makes this software stand out as the best free VPO software avaliable! Even though the current development model makes a normal “stable” release seem distant there’s no reason to not start using the released builds in the Testing folder under Files on the GrandOrgue Sourceforge page (or whatever file is the most recent) or adding the repository for your architecture if you’re using a Linux distribution. The builds that are released are usually quite stable in their performance.
To have a virtual pipe organ at your home you’ll need a few things:
- A computer with a virtual pipe organ software running – eg. GrandOrgue
- MIDI keybord(s) and a MIDI pedal
- A sampleset to load into the virtual pipe organ software (a small demo is included in some versions of GO)
Then to refine your setup you’ll likely want to have an external amplifier and good speakers (a sound system) and of course a nice console to be comfortable playing your virtual pipe organ.
I’ll try to describe how I have set up my virtual pipe organ in these pages and also give some general remarks that I hope will be useful for other people that want to be able to play a virtual pipe organ at home. As you’ll see I’ve gone from very simple equipment to a more and more pipe or digital organ like setup. Start with whatever you have and are comfortable with, the important thing is to start playing the organ!